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CONTENT ISSUE NO. 211 | JULY 2021
DENVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
No conspiracy here. Just some facts and stats about the second largest airport in the world.
MOUNTAIN WEEKEND GETAWAYS Some of the great places to escape are right in our back yard! We look at a few mountain getaways within reach for a quick trip. NE TREE LO
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BIG JOURNEYS BEGIN WITH SMALL STEPS
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Mountain W E E K E N D
G E T A W A Y S
Estes Park After just a couple hours of driving, you can be exploring Rocky Mountain National Park and the quaint town of Estes Park. From a small town growing through ranching and farming, Estes soon became a place of tourism for many to come and visit this Switzerland-like landscape. It is known for its wildlife and beauty with surrounding peaks ranging from 8,500 to 14,000 feet high. Elk can often be seen all over town, even congregating on the baseball diamond. Elkhorn Avenue, the main street in town, offers a huge variety of locally-owned shops and stops and places to grab a bite. The Riverwalk runs along the Big Thompson River and Fall River and is a peaceful way to enjoy downtown. Enjoy hiking, rock climbing, river rafting, fishing, archery and more. Try paddle boarding on Lake Estes or riding the Aerial Tramway to the top of Prospect Mountain. Estes Park is a majestic place where you will experience the great outdoors.
For a varied mountain getaway experience, try Steamboat Springs. This unique town is just over 3 hours from Douglas County. Instead of luxury condos and designer shopping, this special place has a casual, western feel, focused on local artisans, down home cooking, and relaxing. Famous authentic Mexican tacos are served on 9th street, perfect for a break from skiing. And check out the historic western store established in 1905. A huge variety of winter activities await, from snow skiing and snow shoeing to ice hockey and ice fishing. And of course, a popular activity is soaking in the natural hot water. Hot springs are located both downtown and 40 minutes outside of town. During other times of the year, experience biking, visiting one of the surrounding lakes, botanic gardens, horseback riding, or the hot air baloon festival. Free buses also make it convenient to go from downtown to local attractions with routes every ten minutes. Enjoy this different kind of ski town.
Skiing at “Breck” is hugely popular, with the highest chair lift on the continent, at 12,840 feet high, (the Imperial Express SuperChair). It is internationally known for its snow-covered slopes. At only two hours away, this makes for a convenient weekend getaway. Aside from skiing, Breckenridge offers sledding, ice skating, sleigh rides, and snowmobiling, among many other winter activities. With snow into May, winter through spring is when the town shines. But warmer weather also brings hiking, biking, or floating the Arkansas River. Take a tour through the town’s history or sign up to tour the gold mine. You can even meet the Siberian Huskies who pull for the dog sled team adventure. The charming and historic main street offers a variety of shopping, fun, and food, with pork rinds and truffle fritters being some of the favorites. For a high-end experience, try a Breckenridge vacation. JULY 2021 7
BON VOYAGE Faith Tueller Travel Enthusiast Anyone else ready for a vacation right about now? I definitely am! No doubt about it, we all love to escape our own worlds, whether it's driving to a different state, booking a flight across the globe, or simply blocking out the world in your own home; sometimes everyone needs to step away. Why does it seem everyone has an obsession with escaping? The hype of doing nothing: You may just need time off from your job or school, so you lock all the doors and build a fort with your kids, eating away all the stresses life brings. My family enjoys many stay-cations, as we like to call them, and they couldn’t be more fun! Getting away from the stresses of life is too good of an opportunity to pass up. It’s so ironic how we tend to put in so much effort for the joy of blissful boredom. From booking a flight or driving an insane amount of hours to struggling with luggage and booking a hotel, the long-awaited feeling of meditation and relaxation is worth it. Technological advances have allowed for this effort to be somewhat simpler which makes for a happier bunch of people and more time to relax. Not only has technology helped in the lazy factor (we all know it’s true we love to be lazy on vacations), but it also has made it insanely easy for people to somewhat transport themselves as they learn about different cultures from their own little corner of the world. To me, this is one of the most marvelous things our world has to offer - for those without the means or want to leave their own corners of the world. But if you’re like me, that isn’t enough. Simply standing back and learning from afar doesn’t quite quench that desire to be immersed in such fascinating new lifestyles. From the food and clothing, to the language, dance, and historical backgrounds of every family and every individual, I don’ know if I could ever get enough. 8 SEARCHCASTLEROCK
The need for new: People LOVE to travel. They may be bored of their house, of people, or their job. Whatever the reason, many people can’t wait to soak in the rush of adrenaline that comes from trying new things or experiencing a different way of life. Even simply vacationing to the south versus the east coast has a sense of freshness that livens up the experience. The want for people to be a part of a new culture and discover a new way of life is so vastly accomplished in today’s society. The term, “it’s a small world,” couldn’t be more wrong in this context due to the infinite lifetimes a person could spend learning and experiencing everything there is to be taken in about our world and the people in it. For me that’s what makes it so exciting! Although my list of places traveled doesn’t include many outside of the U.S., I’ve experienced some incredible things on my side of the world, learning my country's history, exploring its many landscapes from Niagara Falls to the beautiful Rocky Mountains, down to the flats of the South, and the coasts with an ocean view. I’m always proud to be an American, but I can’t wait to be able to add so many other places and people to my list of things that I have been so blessed to come across in my life. Service: Speaking of being blessed, I believe the most honorable reason people want to travel is to serve. It is my absolute dream to be able to help those who are unable to help themselves and be immersed in other societies, meeting new people, and discovering further the beauty of our world in the selfless acts of humans all around the world. Whatever your reasoning, sometimes we all need to leave it all behind.
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Denver International Airport DIA replaced Stapleton Airport on February 28, 1995, 16 months behind schedule and at a cost of $4.8 billion, nearly $2 billion over budget.
Conspiracy theorists love Denver International Airport. Ever since its conception there have been plenty of oddities that have fueled the fire of conspiracy, and those fires burn as bright as ever today. Even the airport officials have jumped on the bandwagon and feed the fun themselves. From signs during construction hinting at hidden agendas to a talking gargoyle statue, there is no shortage of mystery and intrigue. Some of the most popular theories include secret tunnels, clues to Nazi secret societies, horrifying harbingers of doom “hidden” in public artwork, being headquarters for the Illuminati, hidden bunkers, and "Blucifer" (the blue bronco at the airport entrance) being a nod to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. With due respect to all the theories and conjecture, we provide for you here with some of the facts of our beloved airport. And only the facts.
• Denver International Airport is the 20th-busiest airport in the world and the fifth-busiest in the U.S. • DIA’s land covers 53 square miles, or 34,000 acres, making it larger than the cities of Manhattan, San Francisco, Boston, and Miami. • The four airports busier than Denver - Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas/Fort Worth - could all fit onto DIA’s property. • The airport's water bill is $115,000 per month. • The airport’s roof is covered in white tents made of fiberglass “as thin as a credit card.” There are 34 peaks total, meant to resemble the snow-capped mountains in Colorado and “[evoke] the early history of Colorado when Native American teepees were located across the Great Plains.” • 35,000 people work at DIA. • Medics believe only one baby has been born inside of the airport in the 26 years it's been open. • DIA goes through 400 cases of toilet paper per week, and there are 96 rolls a case. That’s 38,400 rolls of toilet paper per week. • The first flight to depart DIA was United Airlines Flight 1062 to Kansas City International Airport. • The first flight to arrive at DIA was United Flight 1474 from Colorado Springs. The first passenger to get off the plane? Elrey Jeppesen. • DIA's busiest day ever was on July 19, 2019. 227,497 passengers traveled through the airport that day. • When DIA launched, it tried to implement a new, automated baggage system that involved 22 miles of tracks and conveyor belts. But it didn’t work as planned, and instead, “chewed up and spit out bags.” The setup of the defunct system still exists underground at the airport. • Utah ski resorts thought DIA would be a failure based on the highly-publicized issues with the baggage system and sent out advertisements that said: "In Denver, you could lose your luggage. In Utah, you could lose yourself." • Actor Macaulay Culkin called DIA “the scariest place I’ve ever been in my life.” • There are three concourses at the airport, and you have to take a train that runs inside the building to get from concourse to concourse. Each train makes 120 round trips per day and transports 100,000 people per day. • You can skip the train to the A concourse if you prefer. There’s a pedestrian bridge from the main terminal. JULY 2021 11
• There are around 1,600 flights per day at DIA. Technically, the airport could handle 4,608 flights. •DIA's 327-foot FAA control tower is one of the tallest in America. There are 548 stairs from bottom to top, and the average walking time is 20 minutes. It's engineered to sway 1/2 inch in up to 86-mile-perhour winds. • The DIA bathrooms have a fan club. People on Twitter and Reddit have posted about loving their smell. The bathroom scent is called “Black Bamboo.” • The airport has 30 acres of parking lots with more than 44,255 public parking spaces. • There are cameras that take pictures of license plates as cars drive into airport parking facilities. The airport will help people find their cars if they forget where they parked. • About 48,000 items end up in the airport lost-andfound every year. Found items have included teddy bears, a big screen TV, a chainsaw, and a 6-foot-tall stuffed banana. • Historically, 9 a.m. is the busiest hour for security checkpoints, with TSA screening more than 4,700 passengers each day at that time, on average. • Mustang "Blucifer" weighs 9,000 pounds. • You can travel to more than 215 destinations worldwide from Denver. • The busiest restaurant at DIA is Elway's. • There are 67 total restaurants at DIA. • The floors at DIA are vacuumed every night. • The moving walkways inside the terminals travel at 130 feet per minute (or roughly 1.46 mph). • There's a time capsule buried at DIA that won't open until 2094. It contains columns critical of the airport, a copy of the Stapleton neighborhood lawsuit against DIA, Black Hawk casino tokens, and Rockies memorabilia. • DIA's airfield contains a total of 6 million square yards of concrete. • If you call DIA, you won't get hold music. Instead, you'll get fun facts about the airport. • Denver has six runways, five of them being 12,000 feet long. • At 16,000 feet, Denver’s sixth runway is the longest commercial runway in North America. According to the airport, planes sometimes need the extra length for take-off because of Denver’s summer heat and the city's elevation. JULY 2021 13
She was also an avid traveler and finally decided to become a booking agent for travel experiences. Susie especially loves to escort groups to unique getaways. She often takes groups to the South Carolina low country for tours and retreats. Suzie helps plan trips with clients according to their likes and dislikes. She encourages “slow travel,” taking the time to immerse yourself in the culture and food where you are visiting. During and after the influences of COVID, Susie has seen a shift for many people to visit places in the United States that they have not seen before. She has seen many more visiting the Carolinas. Hawaii has also been a hot spot. The state of Hawaii began easing their restrictions in June to no longer require pretests and quarantines for those who have been vaccinated. WE ASKED AN EXPERT
Local Travel Agent Susie McMahon Susie McMahon is a local travel agent who owns Luxurious Journeys and Luxe Low Country Travel. She has 20 years of experience in the travel industry. Shortly after college, Susie worked in a small lodge in North Carolina, serving as a waitress then front desk clerk. She loved the hospitality industry and soon became involved in a management position for Stouffer’s (now Renaissance) in Denver. Susie became familiar with all facets of the hotel business and decided to stay in Colorado to later work for United Airlines and American Express business travel.
Outside of the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas worked hard and quickly to continue to allow for tourism, but to also keep the Covid cases down. The airlines, resorts, and countries had good entry requirements to meet the balance of health and travel. Susie said it is exciting to start to see more countries opening back up. Some countries, like Greece, needed to reopen due to the economic impact of suspended tourism. Susie predicted that we will continue to see COVID testing in large airports when leaving the country for a long time. Officials may also require vaccine proof for certain itineraries. Passenger numbers leaving from the Denver Airport from 2019 to 2020 were cut in half. It will be interesting to see how the travel industry will continue to be impacted by the effects of the pandemic. Coloradans often travel to warm or tropical places to get away. According to the Denver Airport statistics, Arizona is the #1 flight destination in the U.S. from our airport and Cancun, Mexico, is the #1 international destination. It is exciting to see the world of travel open for business again!
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Local news and community happenings in Castle Rock, Colorado.